Adrian Whitty and group receive NIH Award to perform quantitative analysis of RET Receptor activation and signaling
The Whitty Group has received a 5-year, $2 million award from the NIH. Growth factors (GFs) are messenger proteins that mediate the signals between cells that regulate critical functions such as cell growth, maturation, and death. In comparison with other medicinally important protein classes (enzymes, ion channels and G protein-coupled receptors) little is known about how GF receptors perform their function. This project aims to address this important knowledge gap by using the GF receptor RET, which is important in sustaining the survival of a key population of nerve cells in the spinal cord, as a model system to elucidate how GF/GF receptor interactions are coupled to intracellular signaling and to the resulting cellular response. If successful, the new knowledge and experimental methods it will deliver will contribute to innovative and improved approaches to discovering and developing drugs that target GFs and their receptors.